TURQUOISE 4// color of the year

Caribbean blue: another water image from Jost Van Dyke, BVI...

Pantone, a global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, lists turquoise as Color of the Year for 2010. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, states:

"In many cultures, Turquoise occupies a very special position in the world of color. It is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky. Through years of color word-association studies, we also find that Turquoise represents an escape to many – taking them to a tropical paradise that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.”



Third unedited photo of aquamarine, taken underwater near the island of Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands.



Photos from yesterday....The late afternoon tropical light was luminous and golden. I didn't have my SLR Pentax, just the Olympus Stylus 850 SW- an excellent camera, shock-resistant and waterproof.

Wherever you are in the world, may your holidays be luminous.
Wishing you peace and many golden moments,



The second of several inspiring images of Caribbean seawater...

The photo is from September, and I can't recall whether it was taken underwater or above. Without knowing it's water, one cannot tell exactly what this is. Ambiguity in photography- I like that.



I've been collecting images of our turquoise water. As anyone who has visited tropical beaches can attest, the shallow water is an exquisite blue-green hue in bright sunlight, along the water's edge. Of course, the deeper the water, the darker it appears. The tropical sea is so clear, one can see all the way to the bottom, even at 60 feet deep.

I have a few ideas to use blue-green with grey for several new paintings using encaustic. First, I need to do some studies in gouache, which I'll post on this blog.

Here, the first of several photos of clear turquoise water....



My husband took this photo on one of our many summer beach outings. I couldn't tell what it was until he revealed it was a dead cactus which had washed up on the beach.

Do you see any similarities on the photo and Cognition #5, below?

Interestingly, Cognition #5 seems to be inspired by the patterns of that dead cactus. Coincidence? Well, the photo and the drawing are from the same time, in September (I posted Cognition #5 in October), but I honestly cannot say whether the photo was inspiration for my drawing. The mystery remains as to which came first- the photo or the art.



I'm off sailing with family for a few days. It seems our annual "Christmas winds" have arrived, which means strong, steady trade winds. The weather is divine; clear, intense blue sky, low to moderate humidity, and about 85 degrees during the day- perfect if you're on or in the water.

I always experience a burst of creative energy after being on the water for several days. So I'll be eager to start some new work soon.



More new paintings by Elizabeth Sheppell (Photo source, all):

Scratch Series Blaze, 2009, acrylic on panel, 6 x 6

Surface Series Blue Frost, 2009, acrylic on panel, 6 x 6

Veil Series Zoom, 2009, acrylic on panel, 6 x 6

Last week, I featured some of her muted paintings, seen here.

Elizabeth on her recent series:
"This is a new series of work where I explore mark making by cutting back into the work. I am also exploring different tools and methods to find new textures. I am exploring veils of color with underlying layers."

It's enlightening to see how an artist transitions or shifts direction from one series to the next. An installation view of her work from 2008, below:

Elizabeth Sheppell is represented by Sandler Hudson Gallery.



After completion of The Paradise Project- a two year undertaking- I took some time away from the studio to consider my next move, which was to be two or more series of works on paper. It was also time to update the artist statement- a necessary task often dreaded, although I have to say, writing it does get easier with practice.

To see how mine's evolved, click here.

My current artist statement:

The primary intention of my work is to open avenues of emotion and thought through color, line and space. I paint intuitively, guided by dynamic interrelationships of visual elements, connecting them to experience, place and time.

The work is influenced by the natural world, particularly sea and sky, as well as by inherent properties of the medium. Using a reductive approach, I employ whichever materials are appropriate to conveying ideas in visual form- acrylic, oil, gouache, charcoal or pen. In painting, I apply many layers, repeating the process of adding and subtracting as the work progresses. During the creative process, a complex interplay occurs between material, visual recall, and contemplation.

I assign titles to elicit a guided response, inviting further contemplation about the work, thereby establishing connections between art and viewer.

- Stephanie Clayton, 2009



Scratch Series Browns, 2009, acrylic on panel, 6x6

Surface Series Clouded, 2009, acrylic on panel, 6x6

Wheat, 2009, acrylic on paper, 13x10

Photo source, all

Painter Elizabeth Sheppell uses the physicality of paint to express balance, contrast, a sense of quiet, or emotional complexities. Her work is richly textured with multiple layers of paint on paper or panel. I'll feature some of her more colorful works on a later post but for now, I wanted to show these soft neutrals.

It's clear that Elizabeth enjoys using a palette knife- a tool I "discovered" during my first year of art school. A fellow student and BFA candidate was preparing for her show (unfortunately I've forgotten her name), and I asked her how she achieved that expressive texture in her self-portraits. It was the palette knife, or rather many palette knives. I've been a fan of this tool ever since.

Click here for more about Elizabeth Sheppell, and here to visit her blog.